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OPINION | Epitaph 130: Passing the TEST on IPI & Candidates          

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“NEVER give-up, never give-in, and never give-out” are words that I will always remember coming from my former leader of SNCC, the late Congressman John Lewis founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the Civil Rights Movement — he will be missed.

But the People of the CNMI must also never give-up, never give-in, and never give-out when it comes to OUR Government, we just have to keep trying to pass the TEST every two years in the voting booth until we get it RIGHT — so don’t stop voting, just try to do BETTER, it’s really that simple.

I think many if not the overwhelming majority will agree the CNMI failed the last election test given the many disappointments by our Governor and the Legislature. The test in the last election that was meant to take the CNMI into the future with a better economy and a better quality of life for the People which I’m sure WE can all see did not happen.  The CNMI is going to face that SAME test again in a few months and I’m sure most will agree that “WE as a PEOPLE” must pass the test this time around, as it is the most important test since the election of our first officials.

I really don’t need to re-mention all the disappointments WE have experienced over the last decade and the more recent disasters with the Casino — OUR Money & the FBI, the Mariana Resort, the borrowing of NMD’s funds, the many hiccups and ugly politics with paying the Retirees & PSS and the list goes on. But I think most voters with common sense will agree the recent revelation of IPI’s desire to get-out-of-their-contract is literally “the writing is on the wall” signaling the death of IPI and the Casino/Hotel Project.

 IPI is now looking for our Government to give them an escape route (a way out) to avoid their contractual obligations TO the PEOPLE of the CNMI. The great Casino Idea of our Republicans is now officially on-the-ropes and about to be knocked-out with their plea for the right to “sell or get new investors.” I warned several months ago about the demise of the casino being a genuine pending reality and now it is coming to fruition to vindicate me and to authenticate my prediction AGAIN and I was not the only one broadcasting doubt about the casino but I was the loudest. Our Republicans are not about smarts, just loyalty and the fringe benefits from IPI which is why they FAILED the test to build our economy.

The test now is what to do about IPI and for me it’s NOTHING! First and foremost, IPI must now deal with the reality of the DEAL they already have because if they fail this final test the Casino will virtually belong to the CNMI and WE the People can find OUR OWN new investors. WE must let this play itself out now and prepare for the worst, which can’t be that bad as we are already getting ZERO from IPI now. IF the People of the CNMI will change our Government WE the People should be able to get a much better deal for OURSELVES with creditable investors who will be better than who IPI will get for us — for TRUE! Just like our cars and property are REPOSSESSED when we fail to pay the note it will be the same for the Casino/Hotel but we MUST get new leadership or we will virtually still be in the same miserable and nonfunctioning place with the Republicans going nowhere, quick fast and in-a-hurry.

 Best Sunshine made over 100 million and dropped the Casino on IPI and now IPI is trying to pass it on to another Investor which means the Casino is going nowhere quick fast and in-a-hurry, especially under these pandemic conditions. I truly believe the bigger picture of the Casino was not so much about a hotel and gambling but MORE about “money laundering” as there are literally a couple of BILLIONS or more in un-accounted for revenues, taxes and lines of credit which is why the FBI is investigating money laundering as a possible charge. While I don’t have anything against the Bank of Saipan as people’s money should be safe there, but it should be noted that it is NOT a FDIC Bank which means the money in these types of Banks IS NOT monitored, insured nor protected by the Federal Government so it’s easy to see why IPI chose to use the Bank of Saipan.

It’s really obvious now the Republicans have FAILED their Economic Test miserably as it has already been exposed as to how the People of the CNMI have even been fooled and bamboozled for two decades by a Republican controlled Executive Office & Legislature that must change. But thanks to our system of Governing WE the People can actually CHANGE our Government to make it better and more responsive TOO the People’s needs and accountable FOR the People. The test FOR the People is about to be distributed once all the candidates have been declared (the list of candidates) and the good part about the test this time is the fact that there will be only True or False questions unlike the multiple-choice tests in the past. The test this time should also be easier if the majority of voters have learned from the past experiences as the former Independents, now Democrats, have even shown us that WE the People need our accountable two-party system back with votes for ONLY a Republican or a Democrat. So, voters can already rule out any new Independents who might pop-up who were Republicans as it should be obvious, they will just be trying to save their seats in office by running as a “FAKE Independent” — for TRUE!  So, there is only ONE question for ALL voters the answers on the test this time: Who can I TRUST (Republican or Democrat) on the list of candidates to really do the RIGHT THING for ME?  To be continued: One People One Direction

The writer is a retired teacher, former CNMI Board of Education Member, James Madison Fellow (U.S. Constitutional Scholar) and a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Scholar who resides in Kagman III.

 

 

 

 

 

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